The day-to-day struggle in Palestine centers on access to and control of land and water. Not only are these vital resources critical to self-determination, but they are necessary for life. And in Gaza, the five-year Israeli-imposed blockade and unrepaired destruction from Operation Cast Lead have pushed the population into dangerous health and sanitary conditions.
So says a report released June 14 from Save the Children and Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP). The 30-page report (Gaza’s Children: Falling Behind – the effect of the blockade on child health in Gaza) details the ongoing impact of the blockade on Gaza’s water supply, which is heavily polluted by fertilizer and human waste. High rates of chloride and nitrates (up to 10 times WHO established safe levels) are linked to such health problems as anemia, cancer and childhood stunting.
“Gaza is not a safe environment. Its water supply and land are contaminated with pollutants that will threaten the health of people living in Gaza for generations,” the report states.
One key recommendation from the report: “As a matter of urgent priority for the health and wellbeing of Gaza’s children, Israel must lift the blockade in its entirety to enable the free movement of people and goods in and out of Gaza.”
To read the full report, click here.